Screening of Traditional Chinese Medicine Plant Extracts for Antibacterial Properties

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Myers, Katherine
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Middle Tennessee State University
Growing antibiotic resistance intensifies the need for new, more effective treatments against problematic bacterial pathogens. New drug discovery is imperative to combat such organisms with naturally-derived products having desirable antibiotic properties as a possible route of exploration. For centuries, traditional Chinese medicine has successfully treated disease with the application of natural herbs and plants. For these studies, extracts of plants used in traditional Chinese medicine were tested for antibacterial activity against twelve common bacterial pathogens with significant resistance to current Western antibiotic treatments. Several extracts tested in this study had significant levels of antibacterial activity for these bacteria. Crude extracts, MDZ1, MDZ4, and MDZ5, inhibited at least 90% of the growth for four different bacterial species. Three compounds purified from the same plant as the MDZ extracts, along with two additional plant-derived compounds, exhibited greater than 80% inhibition of at least eight species and are ideal candidates for further study.